Have a spooky and safe (and halfway healthy) Halloween

 We’re just hours away from trick-or-treating and family medicine physicians with Memorial Hermann Medical Group at Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center in Greater Heights hope families keep safety in mind during their celebrations. They offer these five tips for a happy and healthy night of fun.

Be mindful of costume choices.

Masks can make it difficult for children to see and breathe. Consider using makeup instead. Also, make sure costumes aren’t so long that your child could trip over it.

Watch the props.

Swords, knives and similar props should be made out of a flexible material.

Consider electric candles.

Open flames from candles and jack-o’-lanterns pose a fire risk. Consider using electric candles in areas where a costume could brush up against an open flame. Also, be on the lookout for candles and jack-o’-lanterns along your trick or treat route.

Be visible.

Have children carry a flashlight, or attach reflective tape to their costume and treat bag.

Check the candy.

Discard any unwrapped candy, or candy wrappers that appear to have been tampered with. Consider the source of any homemade treats and throw out homemade items that didn’t come from people you know well.

“We highly encourage parents to trick-or-treat with their kids, or make sure there’s an adult going along with the group. Only a parent can decide when their child can go trick-or-treating without adult supervision, but your child should be able to safely cross the street on his or her own before being allowed to trick-or-treat without an adult. Regardless of age, it is never recommended to trick-or-treat alone,” said family medicine physician Heather Hamilton, M.D.

Children aren’t the only ones who need to keep safety in mind.

“If adult beverages are part of your Halloween plans, make sure you have a safe way home. Identify alternate transportation, like a taxi or ride sharing service, or make sure your group has a trusted designated driver before going to the party,” added Dr. Hamilton.

Should an emergency arise, the Emergency Center at Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital and the Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center in Greater Heights are open 24 hours a day to treat patients of all ages. For urgent but not emergency needs, physicians at Memorial Hermann Urgent Care Washington Avenue see patients from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. To schedule an appointment at Memorial Hermann Medical Group at Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center in Greater Heights, call 713.242.2980.

Beyond safety, parents should set guidelines for their children’s candy consumption.  KPRC Channel 2 talked to Children’s Memorial Hermann pediatric dietitian Shelby Hawkins today. See her tips here.

Happy Halloween!

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Tashika Varma